Skip to main content

tv   Legacies of Appomattox  CSPAN  April 9, 2015 9:11am-10:06am EDT

9:11 am
commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. american history tv recently visited longwood university in farmville, virginia, for a seminar on the closing of the civil war in 1865. the program was co-hosted by the university and the courthouse national historical park. next, author mark bradley explores the fighting at bennett place in north carolina during the last months of the civil war. this is about an hour. [ applause ] >> thank you david. can everyone hear me okay? all right. well, we have watched the armies of grant and lee moving across the virginia landscape with the siege of petersburg to the surrender at the courthouse.
9:12 am
now, i'm going to make a detour. we're going to make a sharp turn south and we're going to turn back the clock. we're going to go back to december of 1864. and we're going to follow this man, general william t. sherman and his progress in what he believes and hopes will be his final campaign of the war. now sherman and grant are pursuing the grand strategy that they form lated in march of 1864 in cincinnati, ohio. the idea was to keep the armies in the east and in the west confederate armies so busy that they could not reinforce each other. and not have a repeat fiasco in the battle in september of 1863. well this strategy is working. slowly, but working. while grant keeps lee's army
9:13 am
bottled up around the trenches of petersburg and richmond, sherman captures atlanta georgia, in september of 1864. on december 16 the army of the cumberland under george h. thomas crushes the army of tennessee, the confederacy second largest field army and one week later general sherman completes his march from atlanta to the sea by presenting the city of savannah, georgia to president abraham lincoln as a christmas gift. now, sherman is looking ahead to his next campaign. he's going to make a march to the carolinas moving his army group northward to richmond, virginia. there he will join forces with general grant and together they will crush lee's army and bring the war to a victorious conclusion. sherman plans to launch his campaign in january of 1865, but
9:14 am
torrential winter rains prevent that from happening. so he is forced to delay his campaign for the following month. in the meantime general grant decides to launch his second expedition to capture port fisher and close wilmington north carolina the last blockade running seaport in the confederacy. and in effect, close the lifeline of the confederacy as it's called. now the first expedition went badly, general benjamin f. butler launched that expedition with rear admiral david d. porter, but without attempting an attack on the port, butler decided to abandon the campaign and return to virginia. grant properly sacked butler and replaced him with general alfred h. terry. and in effect, he gets a better general, and he gets a much
9:15 am
easier man to live with. both butler and porter are prima donnas they don't get along at all. goes back to 1862, but with terry at the helm of the army component, that won't be a problem. and the two men soon find they work well together. terry will also have a large forest at his disposal close to 10,000 infantry including a division of black troops. while porter will lead an armada of 58 warships. now, commanding the coastal defenses below wilmington, none other than general braxton bragg, who by this length stage in the war, there's probably only one person in the south who still believes in bragg, but he happens to be the commander and
9:16 am
chief, president jefferson davis. and davis opponents his senior -- appoints his senior military advisor as the commander of the defenses around wilmington, in effect superseding the previous commander major general whiting. commanding the fort itself and the garrison is colonel william lamb who is also the chief architect. lamb is a quick learner. he's learning military engineering on the fly in 1862 when the federals attacked and reduced and collapsed in savannah, georgia. and reduced that port to rubble. well lamb profits from that example. he decides to build his fort out of stand. oh, and also, it's nice the fact that there's plenty of building material there on the beach. well, the fall of 1864 most
9:17 am
imposing sea port in the south. boast 47 guns that may seem like a lot, but the union fleet outguns the port fishery defenses on an order of almost ten to one. in fact, the largest union warship, the colorado posts 55 guns alone. now, the federal fleet appears off port fisher on the afternoon of april 12 and they've received to bombard the port. over two and a half days they fired more than 19,000 rounds. and knocked out all but two guns on the no, your honor land face. in the meantime general bragg in wilmington has refused to send reinforcements south for the inevitable attack. a very frustrated whiting decides to head down to fort fisher. and when whiting gets there he
9:18 am
said land,mb my boy we are to be sacrificed. well, the federals after that massive bombardment launched their assault. attacking the northeast baston pictured here, armed with pistols attacking a position defended by artillery. well, they're easily repulsed however, they give the army an opportunity to gain a foothold inside the port off to the left of the west. and after desperate hand to hand fighting that lasts well into the night in which both whiting and lamb are severely wounded, port fisher falls to general terry. and now lee's lifeline is cut, but in the city of wilmington itself remains in confederate hands and it'll require another
9:19 am
campaign to capture it. now, general sherman decides to begin his campaign on february 1, 1865. he moves his 60,000 man army group into south carolina. the left wing, consisting of the 20th corps is commanded by major general henry. the right wing is commanded by one armed major general oliver who commands the 15th and 17th port. and then finally, the calvary division under juddson kilpatrick, 60,000 men in all. now opposing this force are confederates led by general beauregard. he on lienlingly calls for something that sherman does regularly, and that's to think
9:20 am
on giving locations off to the east or off to the west. to keep the confederates guessing as to what his objective is. now in this case and entering south carolina, sherman banks towards the northwest towards augusta with his calgary while the infantry initially seems to march towards charleston. which is the cradle of succession. wanted for the symbolic the city of augusta with his arsenal and gun powder works there's also a desirable target. and in effect beauregard opens the road to the state capitol for sherman. and with minimal interference he reaches columbia on february 17th 1865. by this point it's clear to the confederacy's new general in chief, robert e. lee, that he is
9:21 am
not up to the task of stopping sherman. and on february 22nd he directs joseph e. johnson whose been living in virtual retirement since the recollusion in 1964 he appoints johnston to command the troops. concentrate all available forces and drive back chersherman. at this point johnson is saying, with what? in the words of his calgary chief, it would scarcely have been possible to disperse a force. they're the remnants of the army of tennessee. marching northward through south carolina on sherman's left there's lieutenant general william j. hardy's core. garrison that defended charleston, they're retreating to sherman's right. then third, once the federal's crossing the north carolina, the department in north carolina troops under braxton braggs and finally, the one force that has been opposing sherman's advance,
9:22 am
the calvary under general hampton. now hampton arrives from the army of northern virginia. he arrives in south carolina, his home state. just in time to see his family home millwood burned to the ground along with a lot of other buildings in columbia south carolina. no pun intended hampton is burning for revenge. the opportunity is presented to him a few days after the two armies crossing the north carolina. hampton and kilpatrick has been squirmishing almost constantly during their progress and kilpatrick has managed to steal a march around hampton's force, and he's gotten between the confederate calgary and the infantry under hardy. so kilpatrick sets up a series of roadblocks to prevent hampton from reaching the town of fayetteville and joining forces
9:23 am
with hardy. but what he does is he presents hampton with an ideal opportunity to concentrate on an isolated part of the calvary at monroe's cross roads. it just so happens that kilpatrick's headquarters are located there. and it's a dawn on march 10 1865 that hampton launches a surprise attack on kilpatrick's camp succeeds in sweeping everything before him. driving the federals into a swamp. in fact, the attack is so successful that the confederates are disorganized giving the federals an opportunity to counterattack and drive the confederates out of their camp. kilpatrick manages to avoid being captured and the confederates are now free to march into fayetteville. however, union infantry are endlessly delighted by this embarrassing encounter that kilpatrick has with hampton here
9:24 am
at the cross roads, and they nicknamed this battle the skedaddle. sherman reaches fayetteville on the following day, march 11th. promptly orders the engineers and mechanics to burn the former u.s. arsenal there. he'll rest his army there until march 15th when he'll begin the final stage of his progress to his destination. in the meantime on february 22nd 1865 department of north carolina troops commanded by major general john m.scoffield captures wilmington. he was with the 237rd army corps, and they are joining terry's forces. and now there is going to be a new objective sherman is going to be heading towards goldsboro. he'll rest and refit his army before continuing the march into
9:25 am
virginia. and it's up to the 23rd commanded by general jacob b. hawks to secure goldsboro from sherman. guess who's in his way? general bragg's troops, consisting of general robert f.hock's division and tennessee troops who reach north carolina at this point. say what you will about bragg, at least he ain't timid. he launches an a> h on cox's forces a few miles east of kingstone on march 8th and succeeds in rounding a portion of cox's forests. and in the process, capturing 800 federals and one cannon. things looked good for the confederates on the first day, then the second day, he brings up reinforcements, the federals dig in bragg attempts an attack on the tenth, but he's repulsed.
9:26 am
receiving word that cox is still receiving more reinforcements, bragg decides to fall back towards goldsboro ending the battle. now in the meantime sherman plots the course of his army group from fayetteville, goldsboro is his objective, but keep in mind, he wants to keep johnston guessing as to what his objective is. so he's going to send the left wing northward on the old raleigh stage road as if he's heading towards the north carolina state capital. they'll be marching in marching order, all unnecessary wagons will be with the right wing under howard. they'll be taking direct roads to goldsboro. and the idea is to keep johnston up in the air as to where sherman is headed. now johnston has a plan of his own. he's told general hardy to make
9:27 am
a stand somewhere south to buy time for the concentration of the confederate army in central north carolina. and hardy sets up a defensive position a few miles south. and it's there that they fraif commander by the name of alfred m. rhett and separates the two armies accompanied by nothing more than one staff officer. he's promptly captured, taken prison of war by kilpatrick's chief of staffs. now this turns out to be something of a reunion because it seems that general sherman and several of his subordinates were stationed in charleston rhett's hometown before the war. and they spend the evening together and have dinner. and then the following morning, sherman's army moves out. sherman has accompanied the wing and they find hardy drawn up in
9:28 am
a defensive death. students of the revolutionary war, this looks like the courthouse. a three-line defense. now sherman is able to drive back the first two lines but he gets to the third and main line around dusk he decides to launch a general assault the following morning, however, after dark, hardy falls back towards smithfield. that's where johnston made his head field. now most of the left wing is turning to the right heading east on the goldsboro road. well johnston made his headquarters at smithville because it's roughly midway between raleigh and goldsboro. hardy has managed to accomplish what he was supposed to do, which was to slow sherman's
9:29 am
progress. now johnston has to make a decision where and if he should attack sherman's army. he sends him p a dispatch to general hampton. hampton has made his headquarters on the evening of march 17th at willis coal clin kags, a few miles south of ben tonville, on the goldsboro road, hampton asked or rather johnston asked hampton for his assessment, and hampton says i found the perfect place to launch a surprise attack on the union left wing. and he recommends that johnston send his army marching for ben tonville, and then dawn of march 18th johnston does just that. up to this time he has expected johnston tro to try to oppose his entry into goldsboro but intelligence and poor maps lead him to believe that johnston is
9:30 am
falling back twarlds raleigh, confederates are burning all the bridges that will separate them from the union army and that the road to goldsboro is open. if there's anything in the union army that is dangerous right now, it's overconfidence. and the words of lieutenant john marshall brainem, one of the soldiers said on the morning of march 14, we feel in excellent spirits. everything promises for a smooth entry into goldsboro. well that will prove to be his last entry. he'll be lying dead on the field of bat until just a few hours. as sherman prepares to join the right wing under howard, he has a brief conversation with several other generals including 14th corps commanding general jefferson c. davis. isn't that a great name for a yankee general? that's just perfect.
9:31 am
well davis tells sherman he thinks he's going to run into more than the usual confederate calgary. sherman says no there's nothing out there just a small division of confederate calvary. he said brush them out of the way, i'll see you at cox's bridge tomorrow. cox's bridge being the point at which both sherman's wings to pass over towards goldsboro. well the wing will not reach the bring for four days. leading the way on the morning of march 19 general william pete carlin's division. not having too much trouble. then all of the sudden, they hit the goal plantation. all hell breaks loose. carl and his run-in the infantry and they're on both sides. one of the brigades, north carolina junior reserves consistents almost entirely of teenage boys are blocking the
9:32 am
way. can't see them just yet, but often the left army of tennessee is also going into position. fewer than 4,000 veterans just a shadow of the 70000-man army that johnstone led in the spring. 1864, but the attack plan is developed. carlin's division is sent back. and now he decides to the core. james d. morgan division's to the front then he received some startling intelligence, a union pow has made his escape during that federal repulse, reports to him that johnston has arrived
9:33 am
with his entire army at ben tonville. he's ridden through the rajs of men and they're going to defeat slogan and follow him to the right wing to the south and destroy them and turner. and if that's not enough convincing, he also hears from a 14th core staff officer whose been up at the front and that officer says well general i find more than the calvary, i find confederate infantry dug in and enough to give us the amusement for the rest of the day. so now he realizes he's in for it. he leaves his divisions at the front to stop the impending assault, and he takes the 20th corps and has them back at farm on more defensible ground about a mile to the rear. and now all he can do is just wait. in the meantime he starts
9:34 am
sending couriers to general sherman with increasingly urgent messages telling him of his peril and begging him for reinforcements from howard's wing. going to take them close to 24 hours to reach ben tonville in the meantime he has to hold on. now for johnson, its been frustrating because he wanted to do this sooner. it's not until 2:45 ant afternoon of march 19th that he finally launches his attack. and at first, everything worked pertly. in the words of a confederate with the junior reserves and the army of tennessee moves out, they could begin their assault. looked like a picture was truly beautiful, but it was painful to see just how close their battle flags were together. regiments being scarcely larger than companies. nonetheless, there were enough
9:35 am
to draw that division. in turn push the men south back as well. and in the words of lieutenant charles s. browner of 21st michigan. we stood as long as man can stand, and when that was no longer a possibility, we run like the deuce. and he also wrote we showed to the reds as well as our own sides, some of the best running ever did. looking good at this point, but there's one problem. hardy's wing north of the road has followed orders, they launched their attack but south of the road general bragg he holds fast. we don't know why exactly, he never wrote a report, but we know he didn't launch his attack until ooefr an hour after johnston specified the attack.
9:36 am
that gives the men of the road to dig in and improve their entrenchments and it serves them well. in the course of the fighting south of the road, turning point of the battle incidentally morgan's men have to fight on both sides of the works because their attack from the left flank, after their repulse, troops of the aempl tennessee managed to get in behind. but morgan's men hold on. in the meantime the momentum is still strong north of the road the men of the division and the army of tennessee. and they continue on to the morris farm. and here are two old adversaries face each other. commander of the confederate troops on that part of the field are facing the 20th corps troops of general williams. they had first met in virginia in august of 1862.
9:37 am
they met for the second time in the burrough just a few days before. now ben tonville. this will be the high water mark, ben tonville. he and his men will launch four desperate assaults across morris's open fields. into the mouths of at least 16 union guns. at night fall, he calls off further attacks. he has managed to hold on and the battle of march 9th ends on a draw. now it's up to the right wing. they come marching to his assistance. early on the morning of 20th of march. they reach bentonville around midday. the first troops to get there are the 15th army corps under the command of john a. logan former congressman from
9:38 am
illinois. probably the best political general in the union army. now johnston faces a real dilemma. he's been facing sloakum to the west, now he has to deal with the might of sherman's entire army. so those bend back his left flank. and in effect, he's going to create a bridge head guarding his only route of retreat across a flooded mill creek. early morning, march 21st 1865 johnston will be outnumbered three to one. nearly 60,000 troops at bentonville. johnston will have 20,000 at most. sherman's wondering kbrg johnston decided to stay because this is not typical skbraunstone beheir, he's very cautious. what johnston cites two reasons why he'll remain.
9:39 am
evacuate the the wounded, two, he wants to tempt him into an assault. maybe heavy yankee casual distance before he pulls out. and thee he opportunity say this been but this is also in the back of the head. it appears that they came this close to defeating the wing. and to retreat is to concede defeat. bolster the moral of his men who haven't enjoyed a success in a very long time, johnston decides to remain at bentonville he feels hst worth the risk but it nearly results in the loss of his army. on the afternoon of march 21st 1865 sherman's most aggressive general, general joseph a. mueller goes into position on the extreme right of the union line. he's facing bentonville. well he asked his commander
9:40 am
major general frank. blair, he says, i don't suppose generally you'd have any objection to my making a little recog any distances, blair replies, none whatsoever. well there's a little bit of jornljoe patton in him. mower. he takes his two available brigades and decides to attack the left flank at bentonville. it just so happens that johnson's headquarters are right there, the john ben ton house. but it takes mower about an hour to get across the swamp. reaching the confederate line. it's a gad thing because the only -- good thing because the only confederate he's facing is this. poor excuse for a line. in the meantime, general johnson erects hardy to put together a
9:41 am
counterattacking force to stop moore's project. it'll take time for them to select strength. and just before hardy can watch his counterattack, moore strikes. punches a whole in the confederate line. squirmishers with their 16 shooter henrys are able to get all the way to the edge of bentonville. they come literally within a few yards of cutting off johnson's only line of defete. general johnston reveals to the year. then hardy strikes, he succeeds in pushing back mower who by the way has gotten cold feet apparently because he's decided to doe employ a little closer to the union line. he's left them hanging in the breeze. now among the attackers on the confederate side general hardy's only son, 16-year-old
9:42 am
willie hardy, the newest recruit, and young willie is medical reportly wounded when charging at the front rank. johnston succeeds in repulsing mower's attack, but mower's getting ready to launch another strike. is as men filling their cartridge boxes for another go. then he orders to stand fast. mower is to hold his ground. johnston's army has survived toil might another day. however, unbeknownst germanjer sherman and johnston, they fought their last battle at bentonville. now he fails having failed to defeat the wing while general sherman is more than happy to let johnstone escape his grasp so he can continue on to goldsboro. sherman's army reaches there on the 23rd, then a few days)6a1 later
9:43 am
sherman makes a trip to city point, virginia, to meet with general grant. sherman doesn't say this in his memoirs because it doesn't turn out well. he has two items on his agenda at city point. it's not about peace terms. item number one, he wants grant to postpone his offenses so that sherman will have time to march his army to virginia to join in the grand assault. he wants the aerms to do this on their own. don't want to hear them say couldn't do this without us. the second item, persuade and lead his calgary to north carolina to the insist on running down and bagging johnston. he wants to be in on the effort to finish lee's army. he's going nowhere. so now, sherman doesn't really
9:44 am
have a whole lot left, but it turns out that president lincoln is at city point sherman wasn't aware of that. and on the 27th and the 28th grant, sherman and admiral porter have sort of an informal conversation with lincoln. and it soon becomes apparent to sherman that lincoln wants to offer a lenient piece to the confederates. be conciliatory. malice toward none charity to all in the words of his inaugural address. this deeply impresses sherman west he's going to carry back those thoughts with him to north carolina. and in his memoir sherman has this to say about lincoln of all the men i ever met, he possessed all of the elements of great than any other. now sherman is going to march northward.
9:45 am
from goldsbor to richmond. that changes on april 6th because he receives word that grant broke through. now sherman directs his army toward raleigh. joe johnston meanwhile is at smithfield. and while the federals are celebrating in their camps, it's very quiet here. on april 10th true to his timetable, sherman begins what he believes will be his final offensive. he's right. he moves out on the tenth, heading toward raleigh joe johnston falling back, days march ahead of him. and it's on the 12th of april that sherman receives word from grant of lee's surrender. the men are jubilant. and they're marching with light hearts. johnston has already received the news an unofficial report
9:46 am
that he's received from president jefferson davis whose government has fled to danville virginia. likewise reporting the surrender of lee's army. and now, both commanders know the game is up. it's on the afternoon of the 12th that the governor of north carolina sends a deputation down to sherman's headquarters. it's captured. it turns out that the troops who captured the train bearing tshwane and graham are commanded by the future father-in-law general smith d. atkins who will marry his daughter later that summer. well sherman tells vance who's eager to open negotiations that he's not authorized to negotiate with civilian authorities. but he promises advance that if he chooses to remain in raleigh that he will let him remain as governor.
9:47 am
so sherman is already going out on a limb promising more than he probably should. in any event, she decides to fall back with johnston's army. he's received reports that graham's train was captured by federals and that they're prisoners. incorrect information, but it's probably just as well. sherman reaches raleigh on april 13th, after reviewing his troops as they passed by the state capital, he establishes his headquarters at the governor's palace. in the meantime, president davis has continued to fall back, he stops at greensboro, there he summons general johnston to meet him. they are going to have a conference. now johnston goes to greensboro assuming that davis is soliciting his opinion. asking for a briefing on the military situation. but, when johnston gets to greensboro, he finds out that
9:48 am
davis actually has a plan to raise a new army by collecting all the men who had deserted or evaded inscription. well, johnston realizes that plan, as he puts it is inexpress bli wild, and davis announces that breckenridge will arrive that evening with official word on the fate of lee's army. well breckenridge arrives as scheduled, and he reports yes, lee's army has indeed surrendered at the courthouse. then johnston said he needs an opportunity to tell the president the truth. breckenridge gives him that opportunity the following day on the 13th. and johnston tells him very bluntly that the confederate soldiers in his army have only the clothes on their backs weapons in hand, ammunition in
9:49 am
their cartridge boxes and that it would be the greatest of crimes to continue the war when the federals outnumber his small army on the order of 10-1. even now, davis refuses to blooif that the game is up. he decides to pull general and his cabinet and with one exception, secretary of state, benjamin, everyone sides with johnston. so there's nothing left for davis to do now. he yields to the majority, and dictates a letter to general sherman. to permit the civil authorities to enter into the needful arrangements to terminate the existing war. davis does not have his heart in the negotiations, he decides to continue falling back and he'll retreat as far as charlotte, north carolina. in the meantime it's up to general johnston to open negotiations with general
9:50 am
sherman. calvary commanders exchange messages and it's agreed that they will meet roughly midway between kilpatrick's haertds at durham station and hampton's headquarters at hills borough. it's there on the morning of april 17th, 1865, sherman and johnston meet for the first time. they'll go inside the house of james and nancy bennett and they'll begin their negotiations negotiations. now, sherman has a fateful telegram in his hand when he enters that house. just before he left raleigh, he received word that president lincoln had been assassinated at ford's theater on april the 14 14th. the first person that sherman reveals this telegram to is general johnston.
9:51 am
johnston reads the telegram and as sherman recalls, beads of sweat bead on his forehead, he pronounced it the greatest possible callamamity to the shoutout. at this point, sherman thinks he's got johnston over a barrel and proposes johnston ser runned runneder according to the terms. but johnston quickly recovers and he says, well the terms are entirely fair fair to an army that is surrounded. however, my army is concentrated around groans borough while your army -- at greensboro while your army is at raleigh 75 miles to the east. i can pick up and leave whenever i want. then johnston plays his trump card, let's not negotiate for just the surrender of my army but all the confederate armys still on the field and make one
9:52 am
job of it. that appeals to sherman's flair for the dramatic. he abruptly forgets about a strictly military surrender and now a surrender based on political terms. he will be getting into hot water at this point. he is so euphoric over the possibilities he just ignores it. the two men discuss terms and come to one sticking point. that's offering amnesty to davis and his cabinet. sherman won't hear of it. the two men are anxious to get back to headquarters and sherman is sure his men will be burning over the news of lincoln's assassination and the fate of raleigh is in jeopardy. while johnston is eager to get back to the hills borough where alexander made his headquarters
9:53 am
at the dixon house he immediate immediately summons secretary of war breckenridge and general reagan. he will need authorization for this surrender. he knows breckenridge has davis' ear. once the men arrive at the dixon house around midnight april the 18th, they begin to discuss the terms. then postmaster general reagan offers to write out the terms. as he's scrubling away, johnston announces it's time to return for the second day of negotiations. reagan says he'll send the terms forward just as soon as they're ready. sherman and johnston reached the ben interpret place around noon april the 18th. johnston promptly tells sherman he has official authorization for this all encompassing surrender and would like to bring secretary of war breckenridge into the
9:54 am
discussion. sherman says i don't know about that. we're talking about a confederate cabinet official. to which johnston replies yes but breckenridge is also major in the confederate army and breckenridge say, okay. at that point, reagan's basis of pasi pasification, which is what he calls the document that arrives and johnston begins to read it aloud and sherman looks disapprove disapproving. johnston points out, the only thing we disagreed on included in that agreement is amnesty for davis and the cabinet. that's it. otherwise, i think we have a basis of aagreement here. sheryl man waves it off, says this is too general and verbose and gets out a pen and writes his memorandum or basis of agreement and proves to be twice as long as the reagan document because he ends up giveing the
9:55 am
confederates even more than they asked for. he's feeling really generous. firstoff, the con fed rats get to keep their arms. they will take them back to their respective state capitol to deposit them in their arsenal arsenals to maintain law and order. even the state of weringst virginia is open to debate as to what its fate will be. and the southerners personal political and property rights will be respected. sherman knew all too well property rights includes rights and slaves. he said he thought it would be disrespectful to include that in the document if johnston and breckenridge had already conceded slavery was dead, it would be like rubbing it in soe he left it out. you can imagine the lawyers in
9:56 am
davis' cabinet when they see that, they will have a field day. finally sherman offered all con fed rats amnesty. he was writing so quickly he wanted to get out before he came to his senses. sherman was euphoric because he believed this would end the war with a stroke of the pen and produce peace to the rio grand. when that reaches washington a day later, grant realizes with growing concern this ain't going do wash. he schedules a special meeting with president andrew johnson and his cabinet. they unanimously reject the sherman agreement. keep in mind lincoln's body is
9:57 am
still lying in state in the capitol. as sherman finds out from read reading the northern newspapers there's not a lot of warm and stuzzy zyfuzzy feelings about the southern southerners. grant authorizes his friend to take over negotiations. but grant will not subject his friend to that humiliation. instead, grant tells sherman the deal is off and terms rejected and in accordance to the agreement, he has to give johnston 48 hours notice hostilities will resume unless johnston sense the terms. sherman decides that's the way it has to be. sends a message to johnston.
9:58 am
sherman's message arrives at johnston's headquarters just one hour after davis' telegram accepting the terms. now, there's nothing left for the two men to do. they have to meet a third time at the bennett house on april the 26th. gone is all the elation they felt on the afternoon of the 18th. now, they have to hammer out an agreement based on the terms. initially, johnston says it just doesn't offer my men enough. the soldiers from lee's army are flooding through north carolina they're robbing and pillageing. they don't have enough to live on. my men have to have more than the terms lee's troops received at the courthouse. sherman brought along his second in command, general scofield. scofield is a very clever fellow. he hears what johnston and sherman have to say and he makes this proposal. look, for the authorities in
9:59 am
washington, let's give them what they want. give them the alphamatics terms. then we draft a second agreement we will send up a few days later, a supplemental agreement giveing general johnston what he wants. that includes 1 in 7 con fed rats get to keep their weapons. the men also get to keep their wagons an horses they'll need to plant a crop that spring. and con fed rats will also get river and rail transportation wherever possible, to speed them to their homes. then, finally as a sweetener sherman also offers johnston a quarter million rations from his warehouses in moorehead city. johnston is moved to reply that your generosity reconciles me to what i consider the great mis misfortune of my life, that of having to face you in the field.
10:00 am
so now sherman and johnston make their agreement result in the largest troop surrender of the war. almost 90,000 confederates stationed in the carolinas georgia and florida. in the process, the two generals become good friends. according to sources that's the secret. they would meet and spread out their maps on the floor and start refighting their old battles and campaigns. it was in february of 1981 sherman died and johnston was invited to be an honorary pallbearer at the funeral. it's a cold day in february. as sherman's casket rolled by johnston is 84 years old by this time incidentally, removes his hat. the person standing next to johnston, say, general, put your hat back on your head, you'll catch your death of cold.
10:01 am
to which johnston reply, if sherman were standing here in my place and?4, i were at his, he would not put that hat back on his head. soon that cold johnston caught developed into pneumonia and johnston passed away on march 21, 1891, the 26th anniversary of bentonville. thank you. >> great job. you covered a lot in a short period of time. we do have time for a few questions as usual. step up to the microphone and let mark have any questions you have and i'm sure he can answer them. them. >> dr. brantley. >> yes. >> clyde rice from the civil war roundtable. you had a slide, a picture up
10:02 am
there of fort fisher earlier when you first started. it's been a few years since i've been back to fort fisher what is the status? what is therethe remaining slice left there? >> that's actually a good description of what remains. it's really just a slice. the sea face has been reclaimed by the ocean. a portion of the land face is still intact. there is enough of the land face you can get an idea of the scale of the fort. it's still impressive even in its truncated form. >> chris bingham from alphamatic alphamatics courthouse. we heard a little about the claims earlier and how they were affect affected by the surrender meeting and loss of furniture. could you elaborate what happened to the bennett family as a result of this? >> it's interesting because i was reminded by ron wilson's inventory of all the stolen item items from the mcclain house that the bennetts underwent a
10:03 am
similar pillferpilferage, if you will. it was so bad james bennett applied forest institution from the governor of north carolina william w. holden not just once but twice to recover his stolen artifacts. that included the table the surrender documents were written and signed on. i would say that james bennett and will mer mcclain would have a lot to talk about if they ever got together. [ laughter ] >> yes. >> hi. i'm george deitch living in maryland. question about the supplemental scofield supplement to the surrender terms. number one, how were they received in washington and were they successfully carried out? >> well, you know it's interesting, i think what happened was when they reached washington washington, probably a week to 10 days later, they saw it as kind of an accomplished fact. the most controversial provision
10:04 am
would have been letting 1 in 7 confederates keep their weapons. i think they felt that was probably not going to be too harm harmful. i would say after -- i didn't go into this because i didn't have a lot of time. there was a great deal of furor up north about sherman's terms because secretary of war stanton had sent the terms as well as his nine reasons for disapprove disapproving them to the "new york times" where they became public knowledge. sherman was furious when he found out his reputation was being besmirched. i think i made all that furor the supplemental terms slipped through without much notice. we do know they were approved. >> time for another question if anybody has one. >> thank you.
10:05 am
>> thank you. appreciate it. a. join american history tv for live coverage of ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of the surrender at appomattox. in april of 1865, con federal general robert lee met ulis sis s. grant and surrendered his armor of west virginia ending the civil war. we will be visiting the appomattox civil park at 1:30 p.m. today. next, aetna ceo, mark bertolini discusses income and equality and raiseing the minimum wage. his remarks came during and event hosted by the peterson


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on